11 November 2009

Fall Now

PROMPT: Write about something you saw while looking out a window.

Two trees came down today.
The drama unfolded 
outside my window and 
across the street. 

Their only failing—
the trees, that is—
was the first homeowner
planted them too close to the house 
so the current homeowner
is forever cleaning leaves
from her driveway and gutters 

in the fall. 

It’s fall now.

I watch as first the workers
finish off the trees’ seasonal disrobing. 

Arms and what was left of hair--
the leaves--
fall to ground without a struggle. 
Truth to tell
they hadn’t a chance against the chainsaw. 
No part  seemed to resist
as the workers fed them into the truck
and they were reborn as a sort of
carbon-rich sausage. 

But then
who could have heard them 
if they’d screamed?

Trunks trimmed bare flank the sidewalk briefly
like twin ballerinas frozen en pointe. 
But this image too falls away 
as the saw sections the trunks 
down and farther down 
until eventually level with the ground. 

It’s fall now and the two trees 
are all the way down,
trucks and workers gone. 
My neighbor steps out to see the results. 
She clutches a sweater  across her chest against the wind 
which seems to blow stronger now 
and thinks of the leaves she’ll not rake again 
then goes back inside. 
Less than a minute has passed. 

The porch that has hung in shadows 
for as long as I’ve sat here and looked and saw 
squints back at me through morning's light
but is without a voice.